Afterglow entertains with upbeat Southern Rock

Afterglow will perform 6-8 p.m. Aug. 15, at Bummerville Amphitheatre behind Guerin’s Pharmacy.

An original band from Summerville, Afterglow formed last fall. They write a variety of indie rock songs and cover songs from the '70s, '80s, '90s, and today.

Their songs reference themes of the South with dark undertones while other tunes depict more of an upbeat, pop-punk optimism. Afterglow consists of Ryan Frankett, vocalist and guitarist for the band. Ryan comes from a background of punk and rock music and Melissa Slayton, vocalist and keyboardist.

Melissa comes from a more symphonic sounds background. Gradually, the duo took their unique songs to the Greater Charleston public and love to have additional musicians join them and collaborate including solo artist Kael Jackson on guitar and Frank Sando on drums.

They have an EP out this year as well entitled, "Amethyst." They’ll be playing 6-8 p.m. on Third Thursday, Aug. 15, at Bummerville Amphitheatre behind Guerin’s Pharmacy along with Tar & Feather, then over at Coastal Coffee Roasters on Aug. 17.

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Regan: How did you two meet and form “Afterglow”?

Frankett: Melissa and I met while playing with the Charleston band, Uncle Tim's Bench. We immediately found connection with our musical interests and aspirations. Soon after, we began working on our own originals and committed to that being our chief undertaking.

Slayton: We came up with the name “Afterglow” because we loved all its meanings. It is the term for the light that stays on the horizon after the sun goes down but can refer to any euphoric feeling that continues after something beautiful has passed. We liked it as it has a sense of melancholy to it, yet there is still this positive sense of something good remaining. It’s about moving forward and finding that combination of light and dark that a lot of effective art achieves.

R: Are you voices melodically synched with each other? (In other words, are you a baritone to Melissa’s soprano to harmonize well together)?

F: We tend to sing our songs solo. Each original we sing is of our own composition respectively. When we do harmony, I sing the baritone while Melissa sings soprano.

R: What was it like to create your first EP earlier in 2019 with John Baldwin? How did the record label Wings Back Entertainment come about?

F: Working with John was a phenomenal experience. His recording studio was in a little cabin out in the Ridgeville country. We were able to record five songs within about 6 hours. He has an inept ability to record using modern software and equipment. The real magic happened as he mixed everything and added the drum tracks. As far as Wings Back Entertainment, I have had the pleasure of knowing Joshua Jarman for some time now and he approached me about producing. We are excited to have our EP, Amethyst available on all media outlets and YouTube.

R: Where do you perform? Which musicians/bands influence you?

F: Primarily, we perform in Charleston and Summerville. A list of all venues is on our Facebook page. We routinely play at Homegrown Brewhouse, the downtown Charleston night market, and at A Salt N Battered. My biggest influences are Blink 182 and Brand New. Melissa grew up listening to a lot of Bright Eyes, Lana Del Rey, Tiger Army, AFI, Townes van Zandt, and Alkaline Trio. I bring the energy and upbeat feel to the songs, while Melissa likes writing songs with a haunting feel and which are heavy on imagery and lyrics.

R: Melissa, is this your 1st band? What is it about “Afterglow” that you love vs. what you’ve done up to this point?

S: This is not my first band. I played in The Hellfire Club, Limp Dixie, and Those Damn Kids -- all super fun cover bands. I could not have been luckier than to play with such skilled and down to earth guys. They are also members of the original band Handgun Sonata. We had a super creative approach to music and would often add some crazy twists to our cover songs. It was an amazing creative outlet and we played songs from literally every genre. Our goal was to have a little bit of everything. I see that branching out into different genres can help open your mind to new ideas.

R: What percentage of your songs are originals versus cover tunes?

F: As far as our original-to-cover song ratio, it depends on the venue and the audience. If an audience is digging originals, then we tend to keep them rolling. Typically, we play four covers to an original. We have several unrecorded albums of material we have written, and we blend that with cover music when we play out. We try to just play what will help us connect with others and there is no hierarchy over whether we wrote the song or not. At the end of the day, you must believe in your own original music. The best way to connect with others is to share something that represents a part of yourself and we play (and listen to) music because we want to connect with others.

R: What’s next for Afterglow? A new CD? More travel/venues?

F: To continue working on originals with our goal to turn the EP into an album with the addition of a few new songs. We also play as many venues as possible to promote our music!

Mary E. Regan, Columnist, is a Publicist with her ProPublicist consultancy. Story ideas? Email:

Executive Editor of Summerville Communications, with publishes the Summerville Journal Scene, Berkeley Independent and Goose Creek Gazette.